Flight Sergeant Graham Charles NICHOLS

Service No: 405495
Born: Mount Ubi QLD, 15 February 1922
Enlisted in the RAAF: 31 March 1941
Unit: No 1. Operational Training Unit, East Sale VIC
Died: Aircraft Accident (No. 1 Operational Training Unit Beaufort aircraft A9-304), Bass Strait, 28 April 1943, Aged 21 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Ernest Richardson Nichols and Jane Hilda Nichols, of Caloundra, Queensland.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 6, Sydney Memorial, Rookwood NSW
Remembered: Panel 112, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

The expanded medical section unfortunately could not aid the Beaufort crew of four flying a night formation exercise on 28 April. Only 5 days after No 1 OTU had resumed flying training, Beaufort A9-304 was seen to dive into Bass Strait three miles east of King Island and its crew have not been found since. This was the first accident for the unit at East Sale and its subsequent loss of life became a portent of incidents to follow.

Extract from Lax, M. (Mark) (editor) Always Ready: a history of RAAF East Sale, RAAF Publications Unit Melbourne VIC, 1993 – Page 28

The crew members of A9-304 were:

Flight Sergeant James Henry Catterick (401742) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Graham Charles Nichols (405495) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Sergeant Edward John Offer (415676) (Pilot)
Flight Sergeant Edward Waterman (405282) (Observer)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
Nationals Archives of Australia On-Line Record A9845, 252


Wilson, S. (Stewart) Beaufort, Beaufighter and Mosquito in Australian Service, Aerospace Publications Weston Creek ACT 2611, 1990

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